There are a lot of ideas out there. An idea is meaningless until its acted upon though. You want to make sure you are acting on an idea that that has some potential. Here are the two things we thought about on Sloane before we really jumped on the idea.
Is there market potential for the idea? Will human beings actually buy this?
It's important you take the time at the beginning getting answers to these questions. Jumping too quickly into something can be a total waste of time and also potentially a waste of your hard earned money. There are consequences to taking a haphazard approach to starting your business.
A nude colored undershirt is not something EVERYONE wants. We just need enough people to want it to make the business make sense. The way we tested whether the market would actually want this is through a Kickstarter campaign. I will get into the details on a future post about how to make a Kickstarter (or Indiegogo) campaign successful. It was important that we got in front of real consumers, forced them to fork over real money and got real feedback on the product. Kickstarter might not make sense for your business, but figure out a way to get REAL feedback.
I see mistakes being made when people get super excited about their idea and then put blinders on when talking to other people about it.
"They don't get it."
"It's too advanced for them."
"I'm looking to take advantage of a new new trend."
Negative feedback is something that is expected. We got A LOT of people saying that an expensive nude colored undershirt is the dumbest thing they're heard. We also got a lot of people who said it was super interesting. Make sure you are hearing both the good and bad.....and actually listening/internalizing the bad.
It's scary putting your product out there for people to judge. You might just want to show it to the people who you know will like it (or who you know won't rip you apart). Don't do that. It's time for honest feedback. Even some of the hard feedback is amazing because it might be something that will cause you to tweak the product in a much needed way.
There are success stories of brands who people never thought would get off the ground. People were skeptical of the idea. There will always be skeptics. There just has to be some supporters that can validate your idea though. They might even love it so much that they want to support you! Get the word out. You might be inclined to just run as fast as you can developing your idea, but the legwork in getting feedback early will be invaluable.
We asked for $20K on Kickstarter. We reached that goal and hit $28K. That showed us that enough people wanted this that it was worth pursuing. If we did not hit our goal, then we were prepared to have a tough conversation on whether it made sense to continue. We just had to get a read that moving forward made sense.
Your product will only be successful if the consumer thinks it provides them with enough value. Your blood, sweat and tears alone are not enough.
Have your started to talk to people about your idea? Is something holding you back?